Economic effects of pricing policies at northern Georgia state parks
Cothran, James Wyatt
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Georgia State Parks face fiscal constraints. Higher entrance fees represent a useful approach for park management to enhance fiscal sustainability. However, increased access costs can be expected to reduce visitation if park recreation is a normal good. Actual declines are contingent on visitors’ price sensitivity, and will determine both revenue collection and local economic impacts. Additionally, higher entrance fees may affect visitors of different ethnicity disproportionately. This study uses previously collected data to estimate visitor price elasticity at several state parks in northern Georgia using revealed preference methods. Results from revealed preference (TCM) analysis allow the effect of various entrance fee structures on park revenue, local economic impacts and different segments of park visitors to be estimated. These are expected to better inform park management concerning the likely economic effects of entrance fee policy alternatives.